Apple’s App Store recently topped 1 million apps, with approximately 25,000 new apps being added every day, or one every 3.5 seconds. For construction, the store has more than 10,000 good and not-so-good tools available to help project managers be more effective and efficient on the job. With so many options, finding the right one for you can be a task in itself. To help you get a jump on your app search, here are 14 you should consider downloading in 2014.
1. Archipad Lite
A version of Archipad software made for the iPad, this free app allows project managers to create and send punch lists, reports, and drawings with specific locations for items. It also “learns” to autocomplete entries based on familiar phrases you use. Archipad Lite automatically formats information, eliminating time-consuming steps to ensure your information is conveyed in a neat, concise way.
2. iAuditor: Safety Audit and Checklist
Do paperless safety checks and inspections for free. Edit, sign-off and approve, then email completed audits in PDF or Microsoft Word formats. The iAuditor has more than 12,000 inspection templates. These forms can be tweaked to create your own safety audit checklist, complete with scoring and weighting factors.
PunchLists gathers construction site managers’ notes, photos, and lists into an email-ready format. These lists can be sent on the fly from anywhere and shared with others associated with a project, including engineers and architects.
4. Aconex Field
Available for both iOS and Android devices, this time- and cost-saving app allows project managers to photograph and send inspection issue reports to relevant parties. Tasks can be assigned and updated in real-time, as can re-inspections once issues have been resolved.
Made with lean construction in mind, TaskTrak eliminates the need for spreadsheets while increasing productivity. TaskTrak can be used in areas where cell phone reception is not available. The app allows site managers to view upcoming project milestones, see what percentage of the project has been completed, and compile an activity log and reports with photos attached. Daily reports can even be sent in English or Spanish.
This visual site inspection app allows project managers to pinpoint defects during inspection by taking a photo and plotting the defect on drawings with the mere touch of a button. This important info is then sent to appropriate members of the project for appropriate action. Audit trails are time-stamped by the person who sends the info for greater accountability.
7. Site Diary
Available for iPhone and iPad, Site Diary allows project managers to keep a daily log of project activity, including status updates, project incidents, and weather information to account for any undue project delays. Photos can be added to updates and Site Diary can generate log reports in either PDF or .CSV formats.
8. ProjectWise Explorer Mobile
If you are already using Bentley’s ProjectWise software, this mobile iPad version allows site managers to send work packages and notations directly from the project site. Files can be shared with others and even exported back to your desktop computer, synching up valuable information and saving time.
Afanche Technologies, Inc. came up with this simple iPhone and iPad app that allows construction pros to take free form measurements of large, irregularly-shaped areas. Find out how long and how wide a project site is, simply by using a photo or satellite view of an area and drawing around it with your finger.
10. Concrete Design
This Android app allows project managers to calculate how much concrete is needed for a particular project. The app can also help construction pros evaluate how much reinforcement is required, and to check beam dimensions, cracking, and compression zones. (Yes, it’s not for iOS, but still worth a mention.)
11. LEEDer Checklist
Use this app to create a checklist for new green projects or renovations. Simply enter relevant information to each checklist and it will tell you how “green” your project is and what level of LEED accreditation it meets.
Sync notes, research, memos, and photos across multiple mobile devices or desktop devices. Project managers can compile information from multiple sources in one place and then share with colleagues.
Transform your iPhone into a multi-page scanner. Notes, project plans, blueprints, and more can be scanned quickly, clearly, and easily, packaging them into neat PDF or JPEG files. These files can then be emailed or uploaded to other productivity-enhancing apps like Evernote.
14. A Estimate All Pro
Estimate all facets of a project with this Android app, including concrete, electrical, lumber, and other supplies. The app also allows you to account for taxes on specific supplies to give a more accurate total for a project. (Again Android, and good tool for all.)
What are you using to manage your projects? Tell us about your favorite construction apps in the comments below.